Bruno Bavota

For Apartments: Songs & Loops

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For Apartments: Songs & Loops Review

by Paul Simpson

Bruno Bavota's music has evolved from pristinely recorded neo-romantic pieces to more fleshed-out, atmospheric compositions, with albums like 2019's Get Lost incorporating effects pedals and processors. While he was locked in his apartment during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bavota began exploring two different approaches, recording loop-based synthesizer explorations as well as brief, intimate piano pieces. He gradually charted his progress through the release of individual tracks and EPs, eventually presenting the entire series as the double-album For Apartments: Songs & Loops.

The six Apartment Loops stretch out from six minutes to nearly eight, and they all have a faint rhythmic pulse, which is more defined on some pieces than others. "Apartment Loop #1" is more of a warm vibration, with wavering synth notes which sort of melt on top of each other. "#2" builds impressively, initially taking form as a microscopic pattern before gradually blooming and sparkling, yet maintaining a rough shading of distortion. Other pieces have that same muggy feel, even as the textures are wet and bubbly and the melodies verge on a spiritual breakthrough. "#6" heads in the direction of trance-style arpeggios, but there's something disjointed and cloudy about it, making it clear that Bavota is interested in pure expression rather than technical precision. The Apartment Songs are some of Bavota's most stripped-down works, focusing on nothing more than the piano notes and the space containing them. The pressing and clacking of Bavota physically playing his instrument, as well as the incidental room sounds, are all clearly audible, and the home recording ambiance makes it feel closer to a demo or rehearsal than a proper album. The most memorable tracks have calmly driven melodies, particularly "#4," but most of them simply don't develop much (only a few of them last longer than two minutes). It's all pleasant, and sometimes a bit poignant, but ultimately Bavota takes more risks with the Loops half of the album.

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